UPS Inc. said today it plans to deliver 120 million packages during its peak holiday shipping week starting December 19 and expects to approach or exceed 25 million daily package deliveries on five different days, which would be a record for the company.
Atlanta-based UPS said its projected total shipments for that week will surpass by 6 percent last year's record total of 113 million deliveries. During the peak shipping week in 2010, UPS exceeded 25 million deliveries on only one day.
On its peak day, expected to be December 22, the company expects to approach or exceed 26 million deliveries worldwide, which would be a one-day record for the 104-year-old concern. UPS typically ships 15.6 million packages and documents per day across its global system.
To handle the volume surge, UPS said it would hire 55,000 seasonal workers, up from 50,000 seasonal hires in 2010.
UPS said that thanks to the explosive growth in e-commerce, shoppers have less need (and little desire) to rush to stores early and stock up on holiday merchandise. As a result, the buying season that once stretched from Thanksgiving to Christmas has been compressed to the last two weeks before the holiday. Not surprisingly, UPS' five busiest shipping days will occur during the last 10 calendar days before Christmas.
In late October, rival FedEx Corp., which handles less volume than UPS, said it will move a one-day record of 17 million shipments through its global system on Dec. 12. FedEx expects to handle 260 million shipments between Thanksgiving and Christmas, a 12-percent gain over volumes moved in the same period last year.